Government agencies have 30 days to delete TikTok from federal devices and systems, a White House official said Monday.
The directive from the Biden administration comes after the popular video app was banned by Congress on federal government devices in December, amid growing national security concerns that TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance could give access to user data to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
National security experts also fear that the CCP could use the app to spread misinformation and disinformation or manipulate the algorithm to control what users in the U.S. see.
Reuters first reported the White House deadline for agencies on Monday.
Earlier this month, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the Chinese government requires companies doing business there to turn over the keys to their data.
“The data obtained today could be used in new and frightening ways tomorrow,” she predicted, during an address at a British think tank. “I don’t use TikTok and I would not advise anybody to do so,” she added later.
Some lawmakers would go further than banning TikTok on federal government devices and have encouraged a ban the app on all devices nationwide.
China blasted the ban on Tuesday. “We firmly oppose the wrong practice of the United States to generalize the concept of national security, abuse state power, and unreasonably suppress firms from other countries,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular news briefing, according to Agence France-Presse.
TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew is set to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in March about the platform’s relationship with the CCP, its consumer privacy and data security practices, and its impact on kids, the committee announced in January.
Robert Legare contributed to this report.
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